I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you—-then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest."
His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.
“Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.
We held each other for a long time without speaking. At last he murmured “Why?”—his mouth muffled in my hair.
I kissed his cheek, damp and salty. I could feel his heart beating against my ribs, and wanted nothing more than to stay there forever, not moving, not making love, just breathing the same air.
“I had to,” I said.